Message from the President to the Senate: International Carriage by Air (9/6/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)

For Immediate Release                          September 6, 2000


     I transmit herewith, for Senate advice and consent to ratification,
the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International
Carriage by Air, done at Montreal May 28, 1999 (the "Convention").  The
report of the Department of State, including an article-by-article
analysis, is enclosed for the information of the Senate in connection with
its consideration of the Convention.

     I invite favorable consideration of the recommendation of the
Secretary of State, as contained in the report provided herewith, that the
Senate?s advice and consent to the Convention be subject to a declaration
on behalf of the United States, pursuant to Article 57(a) of the
Convention, that the Convention shall not apply to international carriage
by air performed and operated directly by the United States for
noncommercial purposes in respect to its functions and duties as a
sovereign State.  Such a declaration is consistent with the declaration
made by the United States under the Convention for the Unification of
Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, done at Warsaw
October 12, 1929, as amended (the "Warsaw Convention") and is specifically
permitted by the terms of the new Convention.

     Upon entry into force for the United States, the Convention, where
applicable, would supersede the Warsaw Convention, as amended by the
Protocol to Amend the Warsaw Convention, done at Montreal September 25,
1975 ("Montreal Protocol No. 4"), which entered into force for the United
States on March 4, 1999.  The Convention represents a vast improvement over
the liability regime established under the Warsaw Convention and its
related instruments, relative to passenger rights in the event of an
accident.  Among other benefits, the Convention eliminates the cap on
carrier liability to accident victims; holds carriers strictly liable for
proven damages up to 100,000 Special Drawing Rights (approximately
$135,000) (Special Drawing Rights represent an artificial 'basket' currency
developed by the International Monetary Fund for internal accounting
purposes to replace gold as a world standard); provides for U.S.
jurisdiction for most claims brought on behalf of U.S. passengers;
clarifies the duties and obligations of carriers engaged in code-share
operations; and, with respect to cargo, preserves all of the significant
advances achieved by Montreal Protocol No. 4.

     I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to
this Convention and that the Senate give its advice and consent to
ratification, subject to a declaration that the Convention shall not apply
to international carriage by U.S. State aircraft, as provided for in the

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    September 6, 2000.

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